San Vito dei Normanni Air Station

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San Vito dei Normanni Air Station

United States Air Forces in Europe.svg

Part of United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)
Located near: San Vito dei Normanni, Italy
No image.svg
 
San Vito AS is located in Italy
San Vito AS
San Vito AS
Coordinates 40°38′46″N 017°50′25″E / 40.64611°N 17.84028°E / 40.64611; 17.84028 (San Vito AS)
Site information

San Vito dei Normanni Air Station was a United States Air Force facility located 7 mi /10 km NNW of Brindisi, Apulia, between the port of Brindisi and the town of San Vito dei Normanni, Italy.

Staffed by the 7275th Air Base Group, San Vito AB began as an off-base installation of Aviano Air Base with support personnel and equipment furnished by the 6900th Security Wing in 1960. It became a primary installation on 1 March 1961. operated since its activation by the United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS).

In 1964, a HF monitoring/receiving system of a large circular antenna array for COMINT purposes was installed. This AN/FLR-9 receiving system was operational until October 1994.

On 1 October 1979, the base reverted to HQ Sixteenth AF (USAFE), hosting the 6917th Electronic Security Group and other assigned U.S. and Allied units and organizations.3

In 1994, the base's mission was withdrawn. It reopened later that decade during the Kosovo War. In 2000, the facility was once again closed. The landmark FLR-9 antenna array was disassembled. In 2003, the base reverted to Italian government ownership. The remaining parts of the base (around 80%) were left unoccupied and abandoned. A proposal for the reuse by the University of Salento for his university campus hasn't been executed.[1]

Since then, the Italian government donated parts of the base to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). In December 2006, WFP began using the facility as a simulation-based training center for its logistics officers, as well as logistics personnel of other humanitarian organizations.

It was the 6917th Electronic Security Group and 7275 Air Base Group that was in San Vito. The Navy also played a huge part in the interception and decoding of intelligence not to mention High Frequency Directional Finding.

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Photo of tenant command 6917 Electronic Security Group, from 1989, added by former unit signal intelligence officer Ian Oliver Martin: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ian_Oliver_Martin_in_center,_at_formal_dinner_as_line_signal_intelligence_officer_of_the_6917_Electronic_Security_Group_(USAF),_San_Vito_Air_Station,_(Brindisi)_Italy,_1989..jpg